Anyone who knows anything at all about the history of mathematics knows that
the concept of zero was not invented by Arab mathematicians. And although
it is usually stated that it was the Hindus that first invented it and past
it on to Arabic cultures there is still much discussion about this topic.
Some sense of the zero concept was present even in the ancient Babylonian
civilization. (check out http://www2.andrews.edu/~dyoo/zero/zero.htm if you
are at all curious)
Need I comment on the statement about what Arabic cultures have produced? I
take it the author of that comment is not fond of the lute (al 'ud in the
Arabic language) or perhaps is simply unaware that it was developed by
Arabic cultures (after an lengthy ancient development) before being imported
to Europe. Since this isn't a forum for poetry, architecture or the history
of scholarship I won't bore anyone with comments on the cultural advances of
From: david klein [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 11:49 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Counting musical and calendar intervals
[was: French culture query]
At 11:24 AM 1/24/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>I didn't know that the invention of zero was Arabic.
This is well known. And zero is what Arabic cultures have
produced since then.